The United States is home to some of the most epic, jaw-droppingly beautiful and enjoyable biking trails anywhere in the world. Whether you are on a road bike, hitting the trails on a mountain bike or you are taking a more relaxed approach to your riding, there is a range of trails to suit all styles, levels and abilities. The biggest problem for most cyclists visiting the United States is which biking trails to include on their itinerary. However, with a little research, consideration of the ability of you and your group and some planning, you can ensure you find the right biking trail for your next trip.
When you are researching different biking trails in the United States and planning your trip, it’s important to take the seasons and the weather conditions for when you want to travel. While the photographs of perfect blue-sky days might look appealing online, you want to be sure that’s what you’re going to get when you arrive. It’s also worth considering whether you will rent a bike or bring your own. Travelling with your own bike can save you a lot of money, particularly if you will be spending a lot of time on the saddle. On the other hand, if you plan to rent, you should make sure there is a local shop where you are going and book everything ahead of time to ensure you avoid disappointment when you arrive.
Let’s take a look at some of the very best biking trails in the US that you need to tour at least once in your lifetime.
Trail 401 – Colorado
Set amongst some of the most utterly spectacular scenery Colorado has to offer is the magnificent Trail 401. Riders are treated to stunning views throughout the ride, which begins with a climb from Schofield through a series of evergreen forests punctuated by lush meadows. Once you reach the East River Valley, you can look forward to a long descent down a winding track that provides you with a beautiful backdrop of the Red Mountains with the star attraction, the Crested Butte proudly on display. Taking on this trail in the summertime, riders will be treated to meadows filled with wildflowers, making the ride even more incredible.
Slickrock Trail – Utah
The incredibly challenging Slickrock Trail is not for the faint-hearted and is very difficult both in terms of technical ability and the physical demands of the trail. This trail was solely responsible for Moab’s transformation into the mountain biking mecca that it has become today. Seasoned riders should certainly have this trail at the top of their bucket list and for those less experienced in the saddle, it’s one to aspire to in the future. The views of Utah’s CanyonLands are and the vast expanse of rock hills is something that will stay with you forever and one of the highlights of this challenging 19.3km mountain biking trail.
Gauley Headwaters Trail – West Virginia
Winding for 59.5 kilometres through the Allegheny Mountains, the Gauley Headwaters is renowned for being one of the best biking trails in the entire Appalachian Range. Off-road riders whizz along dirt paths, navigating through dense hardwood forests, taking on challenging ascents and embracing the incredibly fast downhill rides that lie in wait. The tracks here are primarily single-track and the terrain can become particularly rocky in sections. It’s important that you have your equipment in good working order to tackle this incredible trail, including the infamous single track descent that hurtles you towards the headwaters of Tea Creek.
Natchez Trace Parkway – Mississippi
For those looking for a more subdued cycle trail, the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi is a great choice. This 714-kilometre cycle trail can be taken on all at once or you can break it up into sections and tackle it over multiple trips. The trail offers riders a mixed range of terrain including road sections, long winding country roads and thick woodland trails. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in more than ten thousand years of American history as you follow the hunting routes of the Natchez, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian tribes.
San Juan Islands – Washington
Another great choice for a more horizontal riding experience is the temperate San Juan Islands. Situated just off the coast of Washington State, these beautiful islands are home to a range of trails with something to suit every skill level and ability. Cycle through rolling green hills or head out in search of secluded bays where you can stop for lunch. Keep an eye out for marine life that is often spotted from the trail. While riders can choose to visit any one of the islands, one of the more popular options with cyclists is Lopez as it has some wonderful forty-eight-kilometre trails on reasonably flat ground with breath-taking ocean views the entire way.
Choose The Best US Biking Trails For Your Next Two-Wheeled Adventure
With such a variety of biking trails available throughout the United States, it can be difficult to narrow down which trails to choose. Start with the list above and see where your next two-wheeled adventure takes you. Remember to pay attention to the weather and the seasons when you are booking your trip so you get the best experience possible on whichever of the United State’s amazing trails you choose to ride.